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    Hi
    Basically I was just wondering, as long as you come out with a first class degree in whatever degree you are doing, what exactly is the difference between the top unis and any other uni?

    Does the uni you went to actually matter if you get a good grade?

    If two job applicants had a 1st in the same degree, but one went to oxbridge and the other went to a very average uni, what would make the one from oxbridge more likely to be employed?
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    Prestige.
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    The courses and teaching is often seen as being of a higher standard (and from what've I heard it is), lots of 1-1 or small group sessions with experts, stringent testing and assessment, a large workload and the fact you've spend years competing with top level students. Plus it has prestige that nowhere else in the UK can match (rightly or wrongly), aside from Unis dedicated/geared towards specific subjects. Finally, they are the two who are easily the most recognizable internationally.
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    I wouldn't count on getting a first in whatever degree you're doing - it's hard and only a small minority of people do.

    But anyway, Oxbridge is perceived to be more academically rigorous than other universities, therefore awarding degrees of higher value. Whether this is true or not is certainly debatable - it is generally true however that Oxbridge graduates will also have a high level of achievement prior to university, which may help in competitive grad schemes where A levels are looked at. Oxbridge graduates are generally used to talking and defending their views to academics in supervisions, which may turn out to be good interview prep. This all helps in the job application process.

    My experience of Cambridge has persuaded me that the real reason Oxbridge graduates tend to be employed after university (obviously not everyone is, and nor does this just apply to these two universities but also other good ones) is that people are quite driven. Students in general worked hard at school, worked very hard for their degrees, did extra-curriculars (I knew very very few people who weren't part of any activity at all), ran societies, competed for internships... People get involved, basically.
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    Oxbridge has a financial endowment that eclipses all other UK universities, so they arguably have the best facilities. On top of this, the prestige attracts the best lecturers. Both Oxford and Cambridge have 1-1 or small group sessions, which really helps the learning process. Finally, Oxford and Cambridge both have outstanding reputations, nationally and internationally. A lot of employers would respect a degree from Oxford or Cambridge more than the same level degree from another, less respected university (apart from a few exceptions; Oxbridge isn't the best at absolutely everything).
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    The admissions process makes a difference to the calibre of students who go there.
    You can get a degree from a university which requires a pass (E) in two a levels or from one which requires three As. Obviously someone going to one of the latter can be judged to be more intelligent, even if they both end up with a BA first degree.
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    If you're talking about employment, then most employers are more likely to consider your key/core skills, experience and ability to relate to your experiences above the institution. This came out of a survey by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) although I don't have a link handy.

    People do take notice of the fact that you attending Oxbridge, but it's far from the be all and end all
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    In addition to employment-based factors mentioned above, Oxbridge has very high quality research and teaching in general (although not ranked the best for everything - depending on metrics used - check league tables!)

    The tutorial/supervision system is also pretty much unique: at Oxbridge you will have a minimum amount of contact time, usually on a 2-1 basis, with a tutor who is one of the leading academics in their field, in addition to lectures and classes. This personal contact time is extremely valuable for tailoring your learning, asking questions and having discussions, as well as finding out where your strengths and weaknesses are.

    Plus, both Oxford and Cambridge are lovely places to live and work! Being city-based collegiates, unlike many campus universities the colleges are all in and around the town centre itself, meaning you're not seperated in a student bubble away from the rest of society.
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    In terms of your student experience, the college system is probably the most prolific difference. Far greater welfare and student society provision is probably the second most noticeable one!

    All those other factors mentioned are true too - more money spent on teaching you, expected to work harder generally, advantage in the job market (the extent of which varies in different fields). The academic difference was looked at in this research paper, which basically concluded that Oxbridge were a fair whack above even LSE, UCL, Imperial etc.
 
 
 
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